Glencore to spend $956M to increase stake in Peru’s largest zinc producer

Cerro de Pasco mine, in Peru. (Image courtesy of Volcan Compañía Minera.)

Miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) is buying 26.73% of the voting shares in Peru’s largest zinc producer, Volcan Compañía Minera SAA, in a deal worth at least $531 million.

The Swiss company will pay $1.215 per class A common share, which will help it boost its current 7.68% interest in Volcan and which could cost Glencore as much as $956 million, depending on the level of acceptances.

After the closure of the deal, Glencore — already one of the world’s top zinc producers — will hold between 18.98% and 28.07% of Volcan.

“Volcan’s operations are located in the richest polymetallic production area in Peru, producing some of the highest quality zinc concentrates,” it said in the statement.

“The transaction will provide an increase and extension of Glencore’s zinc production profile and the opportunity for synergies with Glencore’s existing Peruvian zinc operations,” it added.

After the closure of the deal, Glencore — which already is one of the world’s largest zinc producers — will hold between 44.84% and 66.30% of the total class A shares and will have an economic interest in Volcan of between 18.98% and 28.07%.

The company, a Volcan shareholder since 2004, said it expects to make the offer by no later than October 27 and that it hopes to complete the deal in November or December this year.

Glencore, one of the top miners that swung back to profit this year on the back of stronger commodity prices, will fund the deal out of its existing cash resources.

Zinc, used to coat metals such as steel to prevent them from rusting, was one of the best performing commodities last year, climbing up 60% as a few top mines, such as Lisheen in Ireland and Century in Australia, closed down. At the same time, top miners of the metal, including Glencore and Nyrstar, suspended some production.

It has extended its gains throughout 2017, with prices hitting a 10-year high of $3,292 a tonne on Tuesday, boosted by increasing concerns over production in China amid the country’s ongoing anti-pollution crackdown.

Founded in 1943, Volcan is mostly engaged in the exploitation of silver, zinc, copper and lead, but also operates hydroelectric power plants.